Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): After covering a long distance of 1,581.9 kilometres, boxing squad of Sikkim reached Tatya Tope Stadium in Bhopal on Saturday to take part in Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2022. And their first reaction was, “This hall in stadium is much bigger and better than what we have in Sikkim.” For years the northeast India has been producing some of the most acclaimed international players like Shiva Thapa, Mangte Chungneijang, Olympian Mary Kom and Lovlina Borgohain. When they reached here, they talked about the sports culture in northeast.
Members of Sikkim boxing squad told Free Press, "We are excited to be here, we were very young when we decided to choose boxing as it was the major sport played around us. Sikkim has a sports culture and athletes but the sports infrastructure needs to be spruced up. Things are changing but the pace is slow." Mary Kom created a path for north-eastern boxers in the country. Most boxers in the country especially women consider Mary Kom as their idol. "K-Pop (Korean pop) trend made Indians look at north-eastern people differently.
People have started loving north-eastern culture more, racism has lessened because of our resemblance to Asian pop groups. Now, people like the way we dress, they want to try our food and like the way we talk,” boxers Samuel Gurung, Anee Lepcha said.
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